Bat(ttered)man

I’ve recently started playing Batman: Arkham Asylum. Overall, it’s a great fun game but there’s one niggle: saved games – or rather the lack thereof.

When playing computer games with character options, I always gravitate toward stealth and cunning over charging around and brute force. However, I play for relaxation not to hone my keyboard skills and reactions to their limits, so don’t enjoy always the stealthiest of stealth games.

Which made Batman’s balance of stealthy flitting from gargoyle-to-gargoyle and dramatic cape sweeps to stun several mooks exactly what I wanted for a touch of weekend escapism.

And who doesn’t want to know what it’s like to be the Batman?

There is, however, no way to save your game by choice; the only options are to keep playing, restart from the last automatic save, or start a new game. To begin with, this wasn’t an issue: I’d just passed a checkpoint when supper was served, so next time I played I had to redo the single fight I’d done since that checkpoint.

But, over the weekend I suffered multiple cockups: Batman getting pummelled because a combo went wrong; Batman failing to sneak past an enemy; and other such things. The sort of events where restarting from a few minutes ago would be good, rather than having to either limp on in a really bad state or redo over-half-an-hour’s play. I’m not the sort of player who wants to save before every possible thing and reloads until they get it perfect; but these weren’t the cockups you were probably thinking of.

These were Couldn’t Operate Computer; Keyboard Under Pusskin incidents. Times where a cat either blocked my access to the key I wanted, or trod on one that I didn’t want. Where a game has a quicksave, I can tap it frequently when I have a cat on my desk; but if it isn’t there, my progress becomes a hostage to paw-tune.

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